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Ciné Sunday: Radioactive

Marjane Satrapi

Though Marie Curie opened the door to understanding some of the most potent forces in the universe, her century-old story endures in another sense: she was a brilliant woman fighting to be heard. Based on Lauren Redniss’s award-winning graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis) biopic shows us Curie was a woman with an unmatched mind, a singular voice, and her own eternal fire.

When she lands in Paris from Warsaw at age 24, Maria Sklodowska (Rosamund Pike) is passionately curious, but impatient with lesser minds. Meeting the more established Pierre Curie (Sam Riley) could be her salvation. They recognize a mutual attraction and agree not just to work together, but to marry. As they push their scientific investigation forward, the Curies unlock forces far beyond their control.

“Curie was a woman with an unmatched mind, a singular voice, and her own eternal fire”

Radioactive starts as a familiar biopic but soon leaps into more exciting territory. Marjane Satrapi’s flair for representing the world through illustration and animation is peppered throughout the film, which ambitiously makes scientific discovery poetic and lyrical. But it's the narrative leap from the Curie lab in the early 20th century to the decades-later impact of atomic bombs that reveals just what kind of film Radioactive is – a bold, visionary depiction of the transformative effects and fallout from Curie’s work and how it shaped the defining moments of the 20th century